Best VPN for Travel in 2021 – Overseas VPNs

Whether you’re on vacation or traveling with work you need a VPN. While you’re overseas you might also not be able to access some of your favorite streaming services as they are restricted to your home address. With a VPN you can change your current location and act like you are still back in your home country.

No matter what your reason is for travel is, be it for business, work, or leisure, it’s important that you stay connected online and have access to your digital files at all times. Everyone travels with gadgets these days, including mobile phones, tablets, or laptops. We all want to stay connected with our friends, businesses, and loved ones while we travel. However, using public wi-fi when traveling opens up the possibility of encountering dangers online. This is why you need a Virtual Private Network or VPN for travel.

Public wi-fi networks are almost everywhere for travelers, from the airport to coffee shops and hotels. However, connecting to public networks without a means of security is a dangerous thing to do as you are at risk of hackers stealing sensitive information.

Sensitive information such as credit card details and email conversations can be stolen as you connect to shared wi-fi networks. Cybercriminals use public networks to steal passwords, login details, bank details, and other types of private information to commit acts of fraud and identity theft.

With all of these potential threats, it’s imperative that you find the best VPN provider to ensure you travel safely. Want to know more about what VPNs can do for you? Read on to find out. Show more

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Why is VPN Important while Travelling?

Whether you are traveling for work, for a vacation, or for a specific purpose, a VPN is a sure way of maintaining digital safety. If you want to know why VPNs are important for travelers, here’s why.

1. Better privacy

A VPN encrypts your internet activity and keeps your information private. If you work with sensitive information, VPNs will give you added protection. The encryption features in VPNs ensure there are no data leaks from your device so that your online activity is always private.

2. Streaming blocked content

Like Netflix, popular streaming services have some geographical restrictions that prevent users from streaming a movie from a location outside of the location they are in. Using a VPN gives you access to restricted Netflix libraries. VPNs change your IP address to that of the country you want and can grant you access to view Netflix and other streaming platforms.

While you are away from home, you might get disconnected from your favorite movie streaming sites. Using a VPN allows you to watch your favorite TV shows by selecting a server located in your home country.

3. Bypass geo-blocks

Some countries have restrictions on what websites residents can visit. China is an obvious example, as this country has banned the use of several popular websites including Facebook. If you are traveling to China and want to access your Facebook account, a VPN is your only option. Some countries restrict the use of Skype or WhatsApp within their territory as well, but a VPN allows you to bypass internet restrictions and constraints.

4. Working abroad

Perhaps you travel a lot for work and need to access your company’s local network often. A VPN will enable you to connect to a server in the country of your choice so that you can safely carry out work whilst abroad. You wouldn’t be happy if important work files got into the hand of hackers, would you? A VPN offers maximum security when you want to access your digital work files from your computer or tablet.

Best Travel VPNs

When it comes to choosing the best VPN for traveling, it’s important to think about whether paid for or free VPNs are the best for your needs. It is always advisable to get a paid VPN plan as you’ll be able to enjoy more security benefits. What’s more, there are restrictions in a free VPN, such as bandwidth and speed limits.

Let’s take a look at some of the best VPN services for travel.

1. ExpressVPN

ExpressVPN is a fast, secure, and streaming optimized VPN that is super secure. It is arguably one of the most popular and secure VPN services you can get, with server locations in over 90 countries and a high number of over 3000 servers. It has a split tunneling feature that allows you to choose which internet data passes through the VPN and which goes directly through your local network.

ExpressVPN gives you the freedom of connecting up to five different devices making it a convenient option if you need a VPN to use on multiple gadgets at once that won’t slow down the connection in any way.

ExpressVPN uses a 256- bit AES encryption model and has a no-logging policy. It has an automatic kill switch, which cuts your internet connection once the VPN connection falters. The VPN is safe from DNS and IP leaks, and it has 24/7 live chat support. The best part about ExpressVPN is that there is a money-back guarantee, so if you do not like the services, you can get your money back within 30 days.

Key Features Of ExpressVPN

2. NordVPN

NordVPN is a super-fast, secure, and easy-to-use VPN with over 5000 servers in 53 countries. Using this VPN makes it easy to break through internet blocks and gain access to various geo-restricted websites due to its vast collection of servers scattered worldwide. It’s the perfect VPN for accessing streaming sites like Netflix and other movie platforms. NordVPN has a strict no-logging policy and uses a 256-bit encryption system to keeps your sensitive information safe and secure.

NordVPN’s dedicated apps are easy to install and configure, and it takes about three minutes to complete the whole process. Nord does not save your browsing activity, has AES encryption, is DNS leak-proof, and offers IP leak protection too. Nord provides a live chat system that is available 24/7 to help answer questions about anything you want to know. NordVPN allows you to connect up to 6 different devices, making it a good VPN for traveling.

With NordVPN, you can enjoy access to a large number of servers. Nord also offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, making it a great option to try out if you are skeptical about buying a VPN up-front.

Key Features Of NordVPN

3. CyberGhost VPN

CyberGhost is a safe, reliable, and trusted provider that is easy to use for a VPN beginner. With over 6500 servers across 95 countries, CyberGhost is an excellent choice with servers around the world, making it one of the best VPNs for traveling. The provider’s dedicated apps are easy to set up but can also be customized in the advanced settings section, where you can alter your DNS, change custom rules, and change your default protocol.

CyberGhost uses military-grade OpenVPN encryption for tight security, encourages P2P data sharing, and is optimized for an excellent streaming experience. The company also has a unique set of highly secured servers known as the CyberGhost No spy servers. These servers are managed separately with the highest form of internet security.

CyberGhost servers make use of AES 256-bit encryption and the company has a strict no-logging policy. It’s VPN app comes with a kill switch that turns off your internet connection once the VPN is no longer connected. CyberGhost allows users to connect up to 7 devices at once, making it great for travelers, and it offers a 45-day money-back guarantee. The customer support system is also very active and responds to complaints swiftly.

Key Features Of CyberGhost

4. Private Internet Access VPN

Private Internet Access (PIA) is a very secure and easy-to-use VPN which you can trust to give you internet protection while you travel. Being one of the best VPNs for traveling and having servers in over 33 countries, the US-based service provider is known for its no-logging policy which has been audited several times.

PIA has an OpenVPN encryption model and offers live chat support that runs 24/7. Kape Technologies, a London-based technology firm, recently purchased PIA to improve its security features.

Key Features Of Private Internet Access

5.Surfshark

Surfshark is well-known for providing great internet security at low prices. It is one of the cheapest VPN services you can get for traveling. With Surfshark, you can connect to any public Wi-Fi without the fear of being hacked. Surfshark’s headquarters are in the British Virgin Islands with servers in over 60 countries, which means you can connect to a server from any country of your choice.

Surfshark bypasses geo-restricted websites with ease, which makes it one of the best VPN services for traveling. Surfshark apps can be installed on any device and users can enjoy an unlimited number of connections. This makes Surfshark a great option if you are traveling in a group as everyone can connect and still enjoy fast and protected internet access.

Surfshark uses industry-standard encryption to protect your sensitive information while you surf the net. Surfshark has one of the best customer care services and offers a 30-day money-back guarantee.

Key Features Of Surfshark

6. VyprVPN

VyprVPN is a Switzerland-based VPN that is great if you’re traveling to geo-restricted sites like China or Russia. This VPN has been proven to unblock services such as Netflix, iPlayer, and other streaming services. VyprVPN is easy to use and has a strict no-logging policy, which is excellent for maximum security. VyprVPN has a robust military-grade OpenVPN encryption model for online user safety.

VyprVPN also has a kill switch, which ends your internet connection and keeps you safe if your VPN connection goes down. VyprVPN has a unique technological featured called Chameleon. This feature hides everything about your connection and makes you invisible on the internet, which is great if you’re looking for anonymity. VyprVPN passed our DNS leak test, which was reassuring to see.

Key Features Of VyprVPN

7. IPVanish

IPVanish is an excellent choice if you are looking for a VPN that will give you fast download speeds and secure internet navigation. The provider’s VPN servers are managed independently for maximum security. IPVanish uses AES 256-bit encryption for protecting your privacy and comes with an easy-to-use kill switch. There is also a Dynamic User IP address feature, which means that you get a new IP address in each session.

IPVanish is one of the best VPNs to use abroad as it allows you access features from your country, including video streaming sites, WhatsApp, Skype, and Gmail. With IPVanish, you can connect up to 10 devices simultaneously, and enjoy 24/7 customer service, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and premium security features.

Key Features Of IPvanish

8. PrivateVPN

PrivateVPN is one of the most used VPN services for accessing restricted content. It is a globally trusted VPN that has excellent speed and tight security. Its customer service operators are available 24/7 to ensure customer needs and complaints are met. The team can remotely fix any issue and answer questions if you have any.

PrivateVPN uses the AES 256-bit secure encryption protocol. It has an internet kill switch as well as IPV6 and DNS leak protection. PrivateVPN upholds a strict no-logging policy, which means it does not record your activities and won’t share them with any third parties. It also offers anonymous sign-ups and a 30-day money-back guarantee, which makes it great for a trial.

Key Features Of PrivateVPN

9. IvacyVPN

IvacyVPN has been in action since 2007 and is an efficient and trustworthy VPN. IvacyVPN has been on our radar for a long time, although it is not one of the most popular VPN services. In 2010, it was the first provider to offers users a split tunneling service and has always adhered to a strict no-logs policy.

IvacyVPN has easy to install apps and software for many platforms and a knowledgeable user care team that swiftly replies to clients’ complaints. IvacyVPN has over 500 optimized servers in various locations, which are optimized for speed and accuracy. Ivacy works on devices such as Xbox, Windows, Android, Linux, IOS, and Smart TVs Routers.

Key Features Of IvacyVPN

10. Namecheap VPN

Namecheap is an Arizona-based company with a reputable record of providing clients with a great VPN service and updated technological tools like domain names and security apps. Its client and app interfaces are relatively easy to use for beginners, and Namecheap has an easy download and installation process.

Namecheap is excellent for streaming movie sites and online gaming too. Namecheap has over 1000 servers in 75 countries and uses a military-grade encryption protocol to ensure customers’ tight security. Namecheap believes in maintaining online privacy and security and for this reason, adopts a tough no-logging policy and comes with additional security features like a kill switch.

Key Features Of Namecheap VPN

What is a VPN?

A Virtual Private Network, better known as a VPN, is a tool that provides security and anonymity for any device connected to it, be it a mobile phone, laptop, or tablet. VPNs provide anonymity for the user, meaning the device’s IP and activity cannot be detected. VPNs make all the online traffic from your device pass through a hidden encryption route, making it untraceable and impossible for cybercriminals to steal or view any data going out or coming into your device.

How Does a VPN Work?

Every device has a unique IP address which websites and third parties use to detect a user’s activity online. When your computer sends and receives data from one IP address to another, there is a possibility of an interception during the travel, especially if you are connected to a public network.

Without a VPN, data transmitted from your IP address has no covering and is exposed. Using a VPN is like adding a protective cover to the information you are sending out. The VPN encrypts and hides the data until it gets to the designated location. Instead of seeing your device’s IP address, your VPN server’s IP will be displayed. The best VPN service updates have thousands of servers and hundreds of available IPs so that yours is never revealed or linked to any online activity.

Although it sounds complex, using a VPN is simple. You can download one and install it on your PC, tablet, or mobile phone and switch it on once you are connected to the internet. After selecting the server you want to connect to, all of your data becomes encrypted and passes through this server instead of through your ISP (Internet Service Provider).

Initially, VPN’s were created for businesses and top organizations dealing with sensitive information. However, with the expansion of technology and digitalization coupled with the security challenges that came with these technological advancements, the need for a more secured system for internet users means that VPN companies are now used by everyone.

Nowadays, you can use a VPN at home, at work, or even while you travel. Most providers have dedicated VPN apps so that you can encrypt your internet traffic across a host of commonly used platforms such as Mac and Windows.

What to Look for When Choosing a Travel VPN

Some people fall into the trap of thinking all VPNs are the same or have the same features. However, VPN services vary greatly, and you need to research your options before settling for one. Here’s what to look for in a VPN for traveling.

Server network and speeds

You should consider the number of servers a VPN provider offers. Some VPN service providers have thousands of servers in various countries, while some have only a few hundred. You should pick one with servers in your home country and the countries you visit most often. The VPN network you choose should also offer good speeds. VPNs naturally slow down your internet speed because your traffic passes through another medium rather than directly to their destination.

Many factors will determine how much your speed decreases when using a VPN such as bandwidth restrictions and your proximity to a server. We advise you to run a speed test for any VPN you want to use and use the trial version before purchasing.

Device connections

It’s annoying to purchase a VPN and find out you have a limited number of simultaneous connections. You should select a VPN that allows you to connect multiple devices at the same time.

Easy to use

No matter how airtight the VPN security is, it is useless if its apps aren’t easy to use. The VPN should have an easy download and installation process. It’s important that the VPN software has easy to understand navigation buttons and the right default settings. Although settings can be changed in the advanced section, the basic settings should work well.

Multiple endpoints

A good VPN must have as many server locations and endpoints as possible. The more the endpoints, the better the VPN. One endpoint can be blocked by the site you are trying to access so it’s essential that you can easily switch to another without losing your security.

Automatic connection 

VPNs protect your network only when you are connected to them. Sometimes you might be in a hurry to reply to an email and forget to switch your VPN on. Having a VPN that automatically turns on seconds after you connect to the internet is a sure way of maintaining protection. As a traveler and even when you are back home, the VPN you choose should have an auto-connect feature.

Access geo-blocks

There are many types of VPN software available. Some are strong at accessing restricted content, while others get more easily blocked. A VPN with an OpenVPN protocol is better to use if you are trying to bypass geo-restricted websites and platforms. OpenVPN protocol works in most restricted countries such as China. When choosing a VPN, we advise you to choose one that has the OpenVPN protocol and a good history of working in most countries.

Apps for supported platforms

If you are using a macOS, Android, or any other operating system, the VPN you choose should be compatible with your device. Most top-rated VPNs work with all major operating systems. Make sure you can download and install the VPN software on any device you have before purchasing.

How to Set Up a VPN for Traveling

After purchasing your selected VPN for traveling, you’ll need to set it up. Fortunately, using a VPN is complicated, and providers have made it easier than ever to successfully install and use VPNs. When you purchase your VPN subscription, you can download the VPN software on multiple platforms depending on how many simultaneous connections the VPN you choose accommodates.

You can use one VPN subscription for multiple devices. As a traveler, you may have several different devices, so you will need to install VPN software on your laptop, tablet, or smartphone. This is not a difficult task and we’ve compiled a short guide to help you install and use your selected VPN without any issue.

1. Select a VPN from one of the choices we recommend: All of the VPNs on our list have been tried and tested by our team of VPN experts. If you only need a VPN for traveling then you can purchase a monthly plan, but yearly plans can often work out cheaper and give you more security. A longer subscription plan is a good idea, especially if you want to continue using the VPN in your home country when you’re not traveling.

2. Download the VPN software to your device: Make sure the VPN you choose is compatible with all major operating systems in the world. Download the software on all your devices if you have multiple devices and ensure that you’re fully protected.

3. Follow the installation guides: Installing your VPN is quite simple and won’t take more than five minutes. The default settings of the VPN software are usually set up to best suit all users, but you can customize the settings to suit your needs via the advanced settings.

4. Connect to a server: After installation, select a server and connect. You can choose a server from any country supported by the VPN you choose. If you are outside your country and wish to enjoy internet services from back home, select a server located in your country.

Free VPN vs Paid VPN for Travel

The sole aim of having a VPN is to keep your sensitive online data secure, give you access to your favorite TV channels and streaming platforms away from home, and perform online transactions without the fear of your details being stolen. To enjoy internet security and freedom, your VPN should have airtight encryption and excellent features. All the VPNs reviewed in this guide will give you the needed protection and security you require, and we do not advise that you use free plans.

The technology used in cloaking VPNs is advanced, and free plans might not include this technology as they do not invest enough money to acquire it. Even if you succeed in connecting to a server with a free VPN, you will be disturbed with spam messages and advertisements to encourage you to upgrade to a paid plan. Servers in free plans are mostly overloaded due to the thousands of people using free plans. This makes free VPN services a lousy choice for protecting your sensitive information like banking transactions and work emails.

Furthermore, you are at significant risk of losing your online information to unscrupulous VPN providers who use free plans as an avenue to mine user data and sell the information to third-party advertisers. On top of this, a free VPN will find it very difficult to bypass geo-restricted sites for video streaming. These movie streaming service owners invest massive money to detect and block VPNs that try to bypass their restrictions. Detecting a free VPN is very easy for streaming websites. Overall, a free VPN is a bad choice for travelers.

Best VPN for Traveling: FAQ

VPNs are not hard to use but they can be difficult to understand. We know that people will have some questions regarding the use of VPNs while traveling. Here are all the answers to your most frequently asked questions.

1. Why is a VPN Important while Traveling?

As a traveler, if you use the internet a lot while you travel, you will have to connect to so many unfamiliar networks at the airport, in your hotel room, at the coffee shop, at the shopping mall, or in restaurants. Cybercriminals can hijack the hotspots you connect to, and your device can get hacked with sensitive information stolen.

With the help of VPN servers, data going out of your device is encrypted, and no one can intercept or decipher it. If you are traveling to a country where the government regulates website use, you can use a VPN to bypass the restrictions on apps and websites. Some regions have locked content, which makes it hard for you to access unless you are in that region. With a VPN, you can access such content without being physically present in the country.

2. Are VPNs Legal? 

Using a VPN is legal and safe in almost all countries around the world. However, countries like China and Iraq forbid the use of non-government licensed VPNs. This means the VPN service providers and internet service providers in that country will have to comply with the country’s privacy laws before receiving a license.

3. Can I trust VPN service providers?

The providers we have reviewed are trusted service providers and have a track record of keeping client details safe. They do not encounter data breaches and are not giving government user information and giving into warrantless demands. They also use up-to-date security technologies and maintain a strict no-logging policy. Nevertheless, we advise you to stick to only reputable service providers as you travel. Not all VPN service providers are trustworthy.

4. How do I securely use a VPN while traveling abroad?

As you travel to other countries, you will come across many hotspots to connect. Some of them might be used by hackers. It is essential to use a VPN with updated security features to connect to any hotspot, especially if you will be inputting any password or card details.

Once you connect to the hotspot, open your VPN app, and connect, you’ll establish a secure connection and your online information will be secured. Some VPNs have a feature where it is automatically activated upon connecting to the internet This is quite beneficial if you often forget to switch the VPN on when you travel.

5. Does a VPN guarantee my privacy? 

So much sensitive information passes through a VPN, so it needs to have strict privacy and security policies to ensure user information is not compromised. Most of the providers we have reviewed in these articles are trustworthy and reliable. We advise you to stay away from those VPNs with bad reviews. A good VPN should have the following security features:

DNS leak Protection: Whenever you try to access a website, your device (computer, tablet, smartphone) tries to access the website’s IP address by sending a request through a DNS server. This request typically goes through your ISPs DNS servers, which might reveal your browsing activity to your ISP. By connecting to VPN servers, your DNS requests are directed to your VPN’s DNS servers. A DNS leak protection prevents your DNS requests from going back to your ISP.

No-logging policy: The no-logging policy prevents VPN providers from storing your activity on the internet. If they do not log your activities online, then there is no information to give to the authorities about you.

IPV6 leak protection: Even with the availability of IPV6, some VPNs still make use of IPV4 addresses, which can cause a security breach. If you use IPV6 and your ISP uses it too, your traffic passes through your ISP and not your VPN. Due to this, your data traffic can sometimes be tracked. Trusted VPN servers have IPV6 leak protection to fix this issue and ensure your online activity remains anonymous.

Best VPN for Restricted Countries

Are you traveling to a country with strict laws about website usage and online platforms? Countries like China and South Korea have a strong firewall against some websites and social platforms like Facebook. For you to access these restricted sites, you need a strong VPN. All the VPNs we reviewed in this article can bypass geo-blocks, but here are our top five picks of VPNs that won’t let you down in a restrictive country.

ExpressVPN: With ExpressVPN, you enjoy unlimited access in any country in the world.

NordVPN: Nord is great for accessing restricted streaming sites and content in censored countries.

CyberGhost VPN: Straightforward to navigate, this service breaks Netflix restrictions with less effort.

VyprVPN: VyprVPN has been tested in China, and it ranks as one of the best VPNs to use in this territory.

Private Internet Access VPN: PIA VPN is our final pick for this section but is definitely not the least effective in restrictive countries. In fact, it is one of the best to use in places like Belarus, China, and Iraq.

Author Monique Ballard

Hi there! I'm Monique, and I am a writer at VPNSurfers. I live in New York, but I'm originally from Delware. I love traveling, but the US will always be home to me. I have more than 5 years of experience using VPNs, and I ha...
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Last updated: October 3, 2021